What were the impact and influence of Christianity in the Anglo-Saxon period?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The strongest buildings in all of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were the churches. The mortar that tied together the massive stones of these churches would be a perfect analogy to what Christianity was to the Anglo-Saxon period.  The Christian church acted as sort of a bonding agent to all of the different Anglo-Saxon groups in England.  With no real national identity, people saw the church as a unifying force.  This was especially true when the Vikings raided England.  The Vikings were there to loot the exquisite wealth accumulated by the church in monasteries.   

Monasteries were great centers of learning, art, and culture in Anglo-Saxon England.  It can be said that the church was responsible for educating the masses and teaching the classical languages.  Abbesses governed over the monasteries and were given great influence and prestige, making them some of the most powerful women in Europe.  

The church played a secular role in society as well.  It was common practice to have high church officials advising kings.  The bishops also managed large estates of lands and made them profitable.  Anglo-Saxon England prospered because of the prosperity of the Christian monasteries and church.  

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